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12 week old- routine vs baby led? What do you think?

(10 Posts)
jeffily Wed 24-Jun-09 15:08:11

DD is 12 weeks old now, and my sister and some of my friends are starting to suggest that I 'put her' onto a 'routine' through the day. At the mo she wakes 6-7ish and we get up, she then feeds every 2 hours through the day, stays awake for around an hour after each time she wakes and takes a sleep of between 45 mins to 1 hour. Her naps are always in the sling as she will only sleep for 20 minutes if I put her down in her cot/in the buggy and then she ends up over tired and really grumpy (hence as I type she is lying over my knee crying as I have been trying to put her into her cot today and she has only slept for 1hour and a half so far). We have been through a period when she was crying for 1-2 hours at the end of each day, so started a bedtime routine, which does take 2 hours, but she is then down in her bed by 7.30 and stays in there (with a feed at 9.30) until I go to bed at around 11. They are suggesting that a) I extend the times between her feeds to more like 3 hours. how on earth would I do this? If she is hungry she cries to be fed- should I just be ignoring this until the clock says it is time? b)she needs to sleep in her cot during the day so I can get stuff done (ie chores!). I have tried naps in her cot, but she ends up in a state as she is overtired
So what do you think? Should I be trying to manipulate her into a routine, or should I carry on just doing what I am, which is following her cues and doing what she wants, including carrying her in a sling for a large part of the day so she can sleep/ i can get stuff done. Am I spoiling her by doing this?

Habbibu Wed 24-Jun-09 15:12:46

Are you happy? Does it suit you? Then stick to what suits you and your baby, and nod and smile at everyone else. If you are breastfeeding it's particularly important to keep demand feeding, as that will help your supply meet her needs.

It's hard to just ignore a barrage of advice, but if what you're doing suits you, stick to your guns.

FWIW, your baby sounds like my dd at that age, who is now a delightful 2.8yo, who sleeps 11 hours at night, 2-3 in the afternoon, eats like a horse and is brilliant fun.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 24-Jun-09 15:16:52

I agree with Habbibu

Keep doing what you are doing if it suits you and your baby!

You cannot spoil a baby, they have needs that must be met, not 'wants' that can be ignored.

I hate the thought of making a baby wait for a feed sad

Practise what you will say next time someone suggests a routine, ime people often think you are just drifting along if you go down the baby led route and sometimes need remining that it is an active choice of yours to do things this way.

hoochymama Wed 24-Jun-09 15:18:20

I've had the same 'well-meaning' advice from friends and family, ignore them all and do what suits you. Sounds to me like you have a routine/ pattern to the day anyway, and you are most definitely not spoiling her, she's 12 wks old!!

I posted a thread asking about demand feeding recently, everyone said the same thing, do what suits you!! If she's hungry feed her! Also in hot weather, would anyone seriously deny their child a drink of water if they wanted it??

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 15:19:20

Personally, I'm a big one for following a babies cues. If you're bfing, as habbibu says you need to keep feeding on demand, if that's every two hours then so be it. It's what she needs and if you try and make her go longer then you can affect your milk supply.

I'm also not a fan of letting babies cry it out, for whatever reason. If they're crying because they're hungry then such a young baby really should be fed, and if they're crying because they want a cuddle then I think that's what you should do. If you're happy with a sling then keep at it. But as Habbibu says it's what feels right for you. A bedtime routine obviously suits her, which is great, but if she wants to be up at other times then I'd be inclined to stick with that.

I don't agree that you can spoil a baby, but I'm sure there are others that disagree with me.

wellbalanced Wed 24-Jun-09 15:29:47

My little boy is 10 weeks and in the day feeds every 2 hrs (BF) and sleeps whenever he's tired. He will go down in his room (in hammock) but loves to sleep in his swing so i just let him then i can get jobs done (sit at laptop!)
He's not great in pram & HATES the car but i go by what he wants mostly...

MaybeAfterBreakfast Wed 24-Jun-09 15:35:17

I did routines with mine (ds1 from about 7 weeks, ds2 from earlier than that) BUT I am a routiney kind of person, and needed that for my sanity.

But you should do what feels right to you. If you're happy with how you are doing things then carry on and ignore well-meaning advice.

Peaches174 Wed 24-Jun-09 19:23:35

hello

I am a routiney person and DS is 13 weeks so struggled with same thing recently.

He is also a massive sling fan and whilst I tried everything to get him to nap in his cot I wasn't about to let him suffer just because I wanted him to go down for a nap, as result would sit with him for 20 mins and if no sleep ensued would just put him in sling for a good sleep until his next feed.

Anyway he just suddenly started to sleep in cot no probs at all about a week ago (hurrah for my back!) and has also suddenly settled into a similar routine to yours...so guess point am trying to make is seems to me that babies will go in cot for naps (and do all the other things we want them to do!) when developmentally ready and all we can do as good mums is to encourage good sleep etc habits without getting all bent out of shape over things!

Also other people don't know yr baby as well as you so trust yr instincts not their (well intentioned!) advice.

weegiemum Wed 24-Jun-09 19:29:57

I tried to put my dd1 (dc1) into a routine (out of a famous book that MN does Not Like To Mention). It exacerbated my nascent PND to the extent that dd1 and I ended up in hospital for several weeks! (serious PND)

If you are happy with dd1, then stick with it. All 3 of my children found their own routines and were happy with them - eventually. But I never felt happy leaving them to cry, or extending times between feeds - if they were hungry, they told me! I would never say to dh "well you had a sandwich 2 hours ago - you don't need anything now!"

Do what makes you and your daughter happy. If you and her are happy, what right do your friends have to challenge you? It is about you - and her - and your relationship. DO what makes you both happy!

BTW slings saved us - a great idea. She's a teeny baby who spent 9 months in your womb. Why should she not be carried in a sling?

bluemousemummy Wed 24-Jun-09 21:22:16

DS2 is 16 weeks now and only just settling into something approaching a pattern - until a couple of weeks ago he was feeding every hour throughout the day (but only waking up once in the night!). Breakthrough for us came when he discovered his thumb and he now sucks on that and he has settled down laods! Don't try to force it is my advice.

Weegiemum - I wish I'd never heard of GF. I didn't follow her routines but just reading the sodding book when I had ds1 led to feelings of inadequacy and unrealistic expectations. Same goes for any parenting book, come to think of it.... smile

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